Back in the USA

September 2, 2012

Our groceries are sparse and breakfast consists of a Fiber One Bar and a cup of instant coffee.  Dick stops to fill the RV’s belly with gas ($104!) and we continue our goal to the US/Canada Border.

The day is pleasant with an abundance of sunlight.   Although it is a holiday weekend (Labor Day),  there is little traffic.

The landscape is changing with each passing mile.  Glaciers and mountain ranges are replaced with farmlands and pastures.  Moose, caribou and elk are exchanged for horses, goats and cattle.

Just when I think my camera can take a respite, we come across the most magnificent canyon!   The Fraser valley runs along the roaring Fraser River.  The road is a challenge of downhill twisting and zigzagging between sheer cliffs.  I hold on tight as Dick snakes around each bend, I trying hard to capture a photo of the rapids in the gorge below using only one hand.

An area named “Hell’s Gate” is just ahead, aptly named to give you a rush.  It is the Old Gold Rush Trail and on this stretch of highway there are 7 mountain tunnels  that vehicles must pass through.  Quite a thrilling experience!

At 3:30 p.m. we cross the border and into Washington.  The traffic and all the people is a shock to my system.   I’m so use to the wildness and vast expanses and hope I can acclimate once I’m home.

Our friend Dena lives in Anacortes and we make arrangements to stay overnight with her.  Her home is lovely,  and her windows provide us with a generous view of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.  Warm enough to eat outdoors, we enjoy a tasty meal of chicken, rice, sautéed vegetables and incredibly  sweet corn on the cob.  Dena is 86 years old, but her energy and vivacity are of a much younger woman.  She has dropped 15 pounds since I’ve last seen her.  Her body is lost in a dark green wool sweater and black, baggy sweat pants.    Her gray hair is cut short, and her glasses are much too big for her now thin face.  She tells us of her two books in progress, one her memoirs, the other on the holocaust, and she is still busy writing her feature for the local newspaperDear Dena is an advice column similar to Dear Abby except Dena offers advice by analyzing handwriting and helping people with career and other relevant decisions.

After some delightful conversation, I wander off to bed and leave Dena and Dick chatting away in the living room area.  Within minutes, Dena falls asleep watching television, with her favorite blanket wrapped tightly around her tiny frame.

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